Monday, October 12, 2015

NBC Sports Group Secures 2016 Media Rights for the 145TH Open Championship from ESPN‏

Agreement Adds to 12-Year R&A and NBC Sports Group Partnership, and Marks Golf Channel’s First Coverage of a Men’s Major Championship

(Orlando, FL) – NBC Sports Group announced that their long-term media agreement with The R&A will begin one year early, starting with The 145TH Open at Royal Troon from July 14-17, 2016. After completing negotiations that included various industry considerations with ESPN, this accelerates NBC Sports Group’s partnership with The R&A and includes coverage of The Senior Open Championship and RICOH Women's British Open. In 2016, The Open will commence an unprecedented 12-week stretch of premiere golf events for NBC Sports Group, including golf’s return to the Olympic Games.

“First and foremost, we want to congratulate ESPN for their company’s successful stewardship of The Open for the last several decades, and we thank them for allowing us to start our partnership with The R&A one year early,” said Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBC Sports Group. “2016 promises to be exciting for all of golf, as The Open kicks off a historic stretch, including the Rio Olympics, the PGA TOUR FedExCup Playoffs and Ryder Cup on Golf Channel and NBC.”

Golf Channel and NBC’s coverage of The Open will commence 12 weeks of marquee golf coverage, highlighted by:
The R&A, European Senior Tour, Ladies Golf Union Championships
- The Open (July 14-17)
- The Senior Open (July 21-24)
- RICOH Women’s British Open (July 28-31)
Rio Olympic Games
- Men’s Olympic Golf (Aug. 11-14)
- Women’s Olympic Golf (Aug. 18-21)
PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs
- The Barclays (Aug. 25-28, Golf Channel)
- Deutsche Bank Championship (Sept. 2-5)
- BMW Championship (Sept. 8-11)
- The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola (Sept. 22-25)
- Ryder Cup (Sept. 30-Oct 2)

NBC Sports Group and The R&A’s overall agreement, which was previously announced in June and continues through 2028, features coverage across all media platforms and also includes robust marketing efforts to support these prestigious championships:
* Golf’s oldest and most international major championship will be profiled through year-round coverage and promotional efforts for The Open Qualifying Series, which starts this fall
* The RICOH Women’s British Open, which is owned by the Ladies Golf Union, will become the third women’s major championship to feature coverage on NBC and the fourth women’s major championship televised on Golf Channel
* The Senior Open Championship, which is jointly owned by the European Senior Tour, will be showcased on Golf Channel and NBC
* Golf Channel’s presence in more than 200 million households, 80 countries and 12 languages around the world will be utilized to profile The R&A’s global youth initiatives to grow the sport.

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